Channel-billed Cuckoos Brisbane

To: "Wendy" <>, "Natalia Atkins" <>
Subject: Channel-billed Cuckoos Brisbane
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2007 15:31:25 +1100
Hi Wendy,

Sorry I disagree. The important thing about cuckoos (or I should say nest 
parasites, as there are other groups of birds that do the same thing and not 
all species of cuckoos do this) is that these chicks do not imprint on the 
foster parents. This for the reason you mention, that it would not work if they 
direct their sexual activities towards the foster parent species when mature. 
Imprinting occurs during a very narrow time frame and is permanent. Also, not 
all birds imprint in the way that some ducks and ground birds do. This is 
usually a rapid bit of learning among those chicks that are born advanced and 
mobile. Also it is not even as simple as that. I believe that even among (some 
/ most?) duck species, males (drakes) will direct sexual preference towards a 
duck like the one they were imprinted on but (female) ducks instinctively 
recognise the right males regardless. With these Channel-billed Cuckoos the 
dependant young are simply staying with the foster parent species for feeding 
and maybe protection or company.


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